Nigeria loses N224 billion revenue to IPOB sit-at-home order
*BZF members to be arraigned today
Nigeria may have lost about N224 billion to the sit–at-home called by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on Wednesday to commemorate the slain Biafran supporters.The revelation came as stakeholders and experts put revenue loss of the southeast zone over the one day sit-at-home to over N40 billion, as the zone relies heavily on buying and selling for its sustenance.
Also, the police said yesterday that the 21 members of the Biafra Zionists Federation (BZF) arrested on Wednesday for attempt to declare Biafra independence and forceful seizure of Enugu government house would be arraigned in court today.IPOB’s Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, told The Guardian that Wednesday’s sit at home dealt a big blow on the economy as it brought commerce to its knees, adding that it would take over one week to recover what the economy lost.
“How do you want to aggregate it, is it in terms of goods that are brought into this zone or the ones that are produced that did not get to their destinations or the unseen businesses that the people engaged in? We know what situations like this can cause and the Nigerian government cannot say it is not pained by the loss”, he said.A former dean of study in the law faculty of the Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Prof. Gab Agu, said the action had adverse effect on the economy of the southeast zone, insisting that it should not be allowed to reoccur.
A lecturer in the Economics Department, University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), Sam Agu, said the action affected the average GDP of the zone in terms of revenue and production.Former Director General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Prof. Elo Amucheazi, said the sit-at-home was an indication of how the people feel about the situation of the county, stressing that they did this by restricting their services to the growth of the economy.
He called for actions that would address grievances and other feelings of the people, stressing that the exercise succeeded even with the threats from the various governments and agencies in the zone.A public analyst and businessman in Onitsha, Dr. Anayo Onwukwe said that Onitsha alone lost over N10 million revenue. He stated that the volume of business, which the commercial city was noted for daily, was reduced to nothing.
Chief Okwy Nnamani, one of the officials of the Ogbete main market put their loss of revenue at over two million naira, saying however that they were happy to pay the “sacrifice for our fallen heroes and heroines.’’The traders at Ariaria market in Aba would prefer to keep their revenue loss close to their chest. Their chairman, Mr. Lucky when contacted said he would not like to talk about it, especially when “nobody was forced to engage in it.”
In a statement however, IPOB said: “it is with a great sense of history and gratitude to all Biafrans that we observed this year’s event with resounding success across Biafraland and all over the world. That it succeeded despite all odds and machinations of the enemy will make it go down in annals of history as confirmation that IPOB under the leadership of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is exceptionally indefatigable and the dominant force across the entire East not just Igboland. It is also confirmation that the vast majorities of our people are with IPOB and remain committed to our collective pursuit of self determination for all.